November certainly provided talking points aplenty, and The Bundesliga Preview Show has packed together some of the best in this month's highlights special.
Cologne can lay a strong claim to being Germany's carnival capital and the city officially declares its very own 'fifth season' underway at 11 minutes past 11 on 11 November. With 1. FC Köln back among the Bundesliga big boys and more than holding their own there, the players and coaching staff were certainly not disinclined to partake in the traditional spirit of the occasion; not least on the back of a thrilling odd-goal-in-seven victory at 1899 Hoffenheim, where the Billy Goats discovered hitherto dormant reserves of forward firepower.
Player of the Month
A Matchday 12 slip-up at Schalke aside, November was a very good month for VfL Wolfsburg. Clean-sheet wins at Stuttgart (4-0) and at home to Hamburg (2-0) and direct rivals Mönchengladbach (1-0) have been enough to ensure that the Wolves go into the last four games of the year out on their own as Bayern's closest pursuers at the top of the table. No-one has been more instrumental to that form upswing than and the 23-year-old Belgium international has spent the last few weeks productively taking his season assist total up to nine, four more than anybody else in the division. When it comes to result-orientated playmaking, De Bruyne is setting the gold standard at the moment.
The unforgettable events of the summer in Brazil upgraded the Bundesliga to the league of world champions and November saw the premiere of Die Mannschaft, a stirring documentary of Germany's road to their fourth World Cup title, made in cooperation with FIFA and the DFB. The victorious squad were reunited for the screening in Berlin but their fortunes in the intervening few months have been mixed to say the least. FC Bayern attacking duo and , for example, are both riding high in the Bundesliga scoring chart, but midfield general has only just returned to the competitive fray – and skipper Philipp Lahm has now taken his leave of it for the rest of the year.
Life is anything but dull at VfB Stuttgart these days. After a troubled season start, Baden-Württemberg's traditional heavyweights went into November buoyed by an exhilarating 5-4 win at Frankfurt, only to crash back down to earth with a 4-0 home loss to Wolfsburg. Follow-up defeats at Bremen and at home to Augsburg resulted in head coach Armin Veh unexpectedly stepping down of his own volition, just twelve games into his second spell at the club he led to the title in 2007. Huub Stevens, who successfully steered VfB clear of the drop zone last season, was promptly brought back on board for a repeat assignment – and the veteran Dutch tactician's second Stuttgart 'debut' of 2014 got off to a thoroughly convincing start at Freiburg.